Top 10 High Vitamin D Foods

Top 10 High Vitamin D Foods

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin required by the body for the absorption of calcium, bone development, immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. (1)

A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to rickets, a weakened immune system, increased cancer risk, poor hair growth and osteomalacia. (1)

Excess vitamin D can cause the body to absorb too much calcium, leading to increased risk of heart disease and kidney stones. (1)

The current U.S. Daily Value (%DV) for vitamin D is 20μg (micrograms) and the toxicity threshold is thought to be 250 to 1000 μg/day. (1)

Sometimes vitamin D values are given in IU (International Units). When this is the case remember that 1μg=40IU for Vitamin D. (1)

Vitamin D is fat soluble, which means you need to eat fat to absorb it. Foods high in vitamin D include fish, mushrooms exposed to sunlight, fortified milk, fortified milk substitutes, fortified tofu, fortified yogurt, fortified breakfast cereals, fortified orange juice, pork chops, and eggs.

Vitamin D is also made by the body when skin is exposed sunlight and is therefore called the sunshine vitamin. This accounts for approximately 90% of our total vitamin D, with only 10% coming from food. Depending on where you live, 20 minutes of sun exposure a day is enough to meet your vitamin D requirements.

Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in vitamin D by common serving size, for more see the nutrient ranking of 200 foods high in vitamin D.

High Vitamin D Foods

Salmon

#1: Fish (Salmon)

Vitamin D
per 6oz Fillet
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
28.4μg
(142% DV)
16.7μg
(84% DV)
21.4μg
(107% DV)

More Fish High in Vitamin D

  • 91% DV in 3oz of canned salmon
  • 87% DV per cup of smoked whitefish
  • 71% DV per 3oz swordfish fillet
  • 67% DV in a 3oz rainbow trout fillet
  • 36% DV per cup of canned sardines
  • 31% DV in 6oz tilapia fillet
  • 25% DV per 3oz halibut fillet

See all fish high in vitamin D.

Crimini mushrooms

#2: Crimini (Chestnut) Mushrooms (Exposed to UV Light)

Vitamin D
per Cup
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
27.8μg
(139% DV)
31.9μg
(160% DV)
290μg
(1450% DV)

More Mushrooms Exposed to Sunlight High in Vitamin D

  • 122% DV per cup of portabella mushrooms
  • 98% DV per cup of maitakes
  • 92% DV per cup of white button mushrooms
  • 17% DV per cup of morels
  • 14% DV per cup of chantarelles
  • 5% DV per cup of shiitakes

Mushrooms create vitamin D from sunlight much like our bodies. Placing any mushroom under the sun for 20 minutes will boost its vitamin D level.

See the list of vegetables (mushrooms) high in vitamin D.

A glass of milk

#3: Fortified Milk

Vitamin D
per 16oz Glass
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
6.3μg
(32% DV)
1.3μg
(7% DV)
4.3μg
(21% DV)

More Dairy High in Vitamin D

  • 29% DV per cup of low-fat milk
  • 17% DV per cup of dehydrated milk
  • 16% DV per cup of buttermilk
  • 4% DV per 1/4 cup of queso fresco

See all dairy foods high in vitamin D.

Note: Milk in the US is fortified with vitamin D, but does not contain significant amounts of vitamin D naturally. Therefore, milk from other countries may not be a good source of vitamin D.

A glass of soy milk with soybeans

#4: Fortified Milk Substitutes (Soy Milk)

Vitamin D
per 16oz Glass
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
5.8μg
(29% DV)
1.2μg
(6% DV)
7.3μg
(36% DV)

Other Fortified Milk Substitutes High in Vitamin D

  • 26% DV per 16oz glass of almond milk
  • 24% DV per 16oz glass of rice milk
  • 24% DV per 16oz glass of coconut milk
A block of tofu

#5: Fortified Tofu

Vitamin D
per Cup
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
5.7μg
(28% DV)
2.5μg
(13% DV)
5.4μg
(27% DV)
Plain yogurt with a raspberry

#6: Fortified Yogurt

Vitamin D
per Cup
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
3.2μg
(16% DV)
1.3μg
(7% DV)
2.5μg
(13% DV)

Yogurt is also high in calcium.

See all dairy foods high in vitamin D.

Note: Dairy products in the US are fortified with vitamin D, but do not contain significant amounts of vitamin D naturally. Therefore, dairy foods from other countries may not be a good source of vitamin D.

A bowl of bran flakes

#7: Fortified Breakfast Cereal

Vitamin D
per 3/4 Cup
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
2.5μg
(12% DV)
8.3μg
(42% DV)
5.2μg
(26% DV)
A glass of orange juice

#8: Fortified Orange Juice

Vitamin D
per Cup
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
2.5μg
(12% DV)
1μg
(5% DV)
4.3μg
(21% DV)

Note: A cup of orange juice contains up to 20 grams of sugar.

A pork chop

#9: Pork Chops

Vitamin D
in 1 Pork Chop
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
2.1μg
(10% DV)
1μg
(5% DV)
0.8μg
(4% DV)

Other Pork Products High in Vitamin D

  • 11% DV per 3oz of spare ribs
  • 6% DV in 1 cup of lean ham
  • 6% DV per 3oz of pepperoni
  • 5% DV in a 3oz bratwurst

See all meats high in vitamin D.

Eggs

#10: Eggs

Vitamin D
in 1 Large Egg
Vitamin D
per 100g
Vitamin D
per 200 Calories
1.1μg
(6% DV)
2.2μg
(11% DV)
2.8μg
(14% DV)
  • 15% DV in 1 cup of chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • 20% DV in 1 cup of scrambled eggs

See All 200 Foods High in Vitamin D

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A printable sheet of the top 10 foods highest in vitamin D.

Foods High in Vitamin D2

FoodServingVitamin D
#1 Portobellos (Exposed To Sun/UV)per cup diced79% DV
(15.9μg)
#2 Fortified Soy Milkper 16oz glass29% DV
(5.8μg)
#3 Morel Mushroomsper cup17% DV
(3.4μg)
#4 Fortified Almond Milkper cup12% DV
(2.4μg)
#5 Fortified Rice Milkper cup12% DV
(2.4μg)
#6 Shiitake Mushroomsper cup5% DV
(1μg)
#7 Oyster Mushroomsper cup3% DV
(0.6μg)
#8 White Button Mushroomsper cup2% DV
(0.3μg)

Foods High in Vitamin D3

FoodServingVitamin D
#1 Salmon per 6oz fillet142% DV
(28.4μg)
#2 Rainbow Troutper 5oz fillet67% DV
(13.5μg)
#3 Herringper 5oz fillet39% DV
(7.7μg)
#4 Canned Sardinesper cup drained36% DV
(7.2μg)
#5 Whole Milkper 16oz glass32% DV
(6.3μg)
#6 Tilapiaper 6oz fillet31% DV
(6.3μg)
#7 Low-Fat and Skim Milkper 16oz glass29% DV
(5.9μg)
#8 Fortified Orange Juiceper cup12% DV
(2.5μg)
#9 Roasted Pork Ribsper rack12% DV
(2.5μg)
#10 Canned Tunaper 3oz9% DV
(1.7μg)

People at Risk of a Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Breastfed Infants Who are Not in the Sun - The amount of vitamin D in breast milk depends on the amount of vitamin D in the mother. However, breast-milk typically does not contain adequate amounts of vitamin D. Be sure infants get some exposure to the sun (at least 10-20 minutes per day) to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D. (1)
  • Older Adults - As skin ages it is less and less able to make vitamin D from the sun, so vitamin D has to be attained from foods or supplements. (1)
  • People With Little Sun Exposure on the Skin - Wearing sunscreen, or lots of clothing, hampers the production of vitamin D from the sun. (1)
  • People with Darker Skin - Melanin, a pigment found in skin, reduces the body's ability to manufacture vitamin D from the sun. (1)
  • People who have Problems Absorbing Fat - Vitamin D is fat soluble, which means it is found in fats, and your body has to be able to digest fats in order for you to absorb the vitamin D. (1)
  • People Taking Certain Medications
    • Steroid Corticosteroid medications used to alleviate inflammation can reduce calcium absorption and impair vitamin D metabolism. (1)
    • Weight-loss drugs with orlistat as well as cholesterol-lowering drugs with cholestyramine can reduce the absorption of vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins. (1)
    • Medicines used to treat epileptic seizures, particularly phenobarbital and phenytoin, interfere with Vitamin D and reduces calcium absorption. (1)

What Fruits and Vegetables are High in Vitamin D?

Vegetables high in vitamin D include mushrooms which have been exposed to sunlight. Other vegan foods high in vitamin D include fortified soy products like tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt, fortified cereals, and fortified juices.

Unfortunately, no fruits are high in vitamin D, and fortified orange juice is currently the only fruit product commonly sold with vitamin D.

Warnings

Consuming too much vitamin D from food or supplements can lead to anorexia, weight loss, polyuria, heart arrhythmias, kidney stones, and increased risk of heart attacks. Vitamin D cannot reach toxic levels if created naturally from sun exposure. (1)


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Data Sources and References

  1. Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin D
  2. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central

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